Thursday, December 1, 2005
My first mercenary auction ended, and two days later I was chatting with my employer over Yahoo IM. I picked out a server for us using the All Seeing Eye server browser, and passed him the IP.
"What's your name in-game, boss?" I asked.
"pOOkiepiez," he replied.
"o_O" I emoted. "OK, what are your orders? What class do you want me to be? Medic?"
"Just follow me and watch my back. Let's go."
I was not expecting to be defending the life of such an oddly named person, but no matter. I had a job to do.
As the game slowly loaded (it's BF2, remember?), I got anxious and decided to jump around the room like a buffoon... a buffoon with a mission. I figured I played best when my heart rate was up, give my reflexes a boost.
Mission: Strike at Karkand
Karkand. I purposefully picked out a server playing this map because I wanted to give my employer a good first impression of my skills. I had always done well on Karkand maps, usually in the top 3 players of my team. The map's urban layout provides intense, relentless combat by funneling dozens of troops into small areas of battle. As a medic, I always had an easy time finding wounded troops to revive, giving me loads of points.
But I was worried. We were about to play on a 32 player map, but with 50 players. Can I really do well in such a crowded battlefield? Wasn't sure.
The map was loaded and the JOIN GAME button appeared. As I clicked it, I could hear that dreaded sound.. beepbeepbeep....beepbebebebeeep.... the Commander's UAV was picking up a dozen enemy troops in a single sweep. I cursed and prayed pOOkiepiez would do the smart thing: go to a rear base and hop into a vehicle before wading into that valley of death. I joined his squad, and then cursed some more when I saw his green locator on the map. The crazy bastard was charging headlong into the battle on foot.
Of course, I had no choice but to follow the crazy bastard. So I picked up a Medic kit and spawned behind him.
We rushed through some plants and began shooting at the oncoming hordes of USMC forces. We fought for about 10-20 minutes in your typical BF2 Karkand ways:
1. run into an alley like a pansy when armor comes rumbling down the street
2. run out of alley when you realise there's 5 Marines filling it with SAW and M16 fire
3. run past the back of the armor that just passed your alley, and run into another alley. Repeat Step 2.
4. check UAV recon info in the minimap and try to toss grenades into the right places
5. get blown up by enemy grenades thrown by enemies using Step 4.
6. Get blown up by artillery
The battle was going well. I was dropping Marines quite a bit, but most importantly, I was keeping Pookie alive. When his arm got torn off by a tank blast, I shock paddled it back on (don't ask how). When his skull was blown apart by a headshot, I planted my shock paddle on his forehead and he was back up like nothing happened. "Alright soldier, you're good to go!"
But a problem soon arose. I was fighting alongside Pookie next to some boxes in the southeastern part of Karkand, shooting at marines perched on the hill, when a friendly called out for me on the radio. "MEDIC!"
"Pookie, I'm going to go rescue that guy! Be right back, OK?"
No response. Pookie was too busy lining up shots with his Ak-101. So I ran off, and 10 seconds later, I found the fallen soldier in an alley. Probably hit by an artillery shell. Shock paddled him back up, and he ran off. Probably gonna be dead again in a few seconds. I ran out of the alley to look at the boxes Pookie was at, but I couldn't see him.
"OK I'm back. Where'd you go, Pookie?"
Again, nothing. Then I saw his foot sticking out from behind the box. Maybe he's prone. But nope. Foot was pointing upwards. Feet point down towards the grown when you're prone, they point UP when you're dying.
"OH NO, POOKIE!"
I rushed across the street, forgetting to check for hostiles. My right arm paid the price as a bullet tore into it. I glanced right and saw 3 Marines shooting at me from the bottom of the hill. I couldn't stop and return fire, that would be suicide against 3 enemies, and shooting while moving would be pointless due to inaccuracy. So I threw a grenade in the direction of the enemy. That'll buy me some time. The enemy will run away from the grenade while I try to revive Pookie. My plan worked. Two of the Marines ran for cover, the third went flying from the grenade blast. Didn't have time to admire his trajectory though.
I ducked behind the boxes and looked down at Pookie. He was dying and I had to act fast. I took out my shock paddles. My uncharged shock paddles. I had forgotten to recharge them after I had rescued that other guy. Shit! I rubbed the paddles together as fast as I could and then tried to shock Pookie back to life. But it was too late. His body vanished into thin air.
"POOKIE! NOOOO!! WHY GOD? WHY?!" I voice chatted.
Bullets slammed into the ground around me, followed by a close grenade blast.
Revenge. I shouldered my Kalashnikov and emerged from cover to see the two Marines from earlier. I gunned them down with a single sweep of my gun. Three more Marines came charging down the hill. They hadn't seen me yet. I ducked down behind the boxes and lobbed grenades, causing them to flee. I popped up again and shot one down before he could make it to cover. The other two dissapeared behind a fence. I waited for them to come out with guns firing. But no.. instead, just one emerged as a Medic, rushing towards his fallen comrade with paddles at the ready. He dove towards his friend's body... but fell short. Way short. I shot his head open. The third then emerged.... as a Medic, too. He dove towards his fellow Medic's body and landed on top of him. Good dive. I shot his chest open.
More Marines on the hill, coming down fast. OK, revenge acquired. Time to leave! I turned around and ran towards the alley. I was taking fire. I'm not gonna make it. I pulled out my medic bag and held it close to my chest, hoping it would buy me an extra second of life. I was almost to the alley when a soldier emerged from the alley and began firing in my direction. It was Pookie, back from the dead.
"Go, go, go!" he yelled out as he dropped one of my pursuers. I ran into the alley and turned northward, with Pookie right behind me.
"Thanks, I owe you one," I said.
He replied, "You got it."
When the game was over, I emerged the top scoring player on the server, with more than 100 points and loads of awards. It was my personal best ever on Karkand. We logged out of the game and soon, Pookie left the following Ebay positive feedback on my account: "Guy is straight shooter. Killed many peeps for me. Delivers death. Awesome!"